One who flatters another person in order to win favor will ultimately suffer disgrace (Avos De R' Nosson 29:4).
The insatiable need to receive praise from others can be one of the most powerful, albeit destructive, motivating forces in human behavior. People who have the need for praise generally suffer from such low self-esteem that they need constant assurance that they are really worthy. Since this low self-esteem has no place in reality, measures such as praise or other affirmation can never counteract it. The pit of low self-esteem is bottomless; nothing ever fills it.
Desperately trying to receive external affirmation, people flatter and fawn to please others, so that they may react positively toward them. While giving false compliments may appear innocent, the attempts to win favor may snare this flatterer in relationships and obligations that are likely to backfire, so that they suffer embarrassment, not the expected admiration.
A healthy self-awareness would obviate the need for such tactics, and a devotion to honesty would prevent indulging in the falsehoods that initially bring about the desired response, but eventually result in further loss of both one's self-respect and the respect of others.
Today I shall ... ... avoid fawning and flattering. Instead, I will try to achieve a self-esteem which will render these unnecessary.
Love Yehuda Lave
Palestinian Authority: Israel stole our snake
Israel's decision to choose national snake draws ire from Palestinian Authority, which claims Israel 'stole' Palestine viper.
Last Thursday, Israel's Society for the Protection of Nature and the Israel Nature and Parks Authority named the Palestine viper as Israel's national snake.
The Palestine viper, or daboia palaestinae, was selected based on an online vote.
Found across the Levant, from the northern Negev and western Jordan in the south to northern Lebanon and central Syria in the north, the snake is common throughout most of Israel, and in Hebrew is referred to as the 'common viper', or 'common Land of Israel viper'.
The Palestinian Authority protested the move, calling it an act of 'theft' which ignored what they called the viper's Palestinian heritage.
Imad al-Atrash, the Executive Director of the Palestine Wildlife Society, denounced Thursday's announcement regarding the viper, adding that the struggle over the snake's national identity was part of the larger battle by the PA to preserve 'Palestinian identity'.
Al-Atrash called on outside organizations to join the struggle to recognize the snake as the 'Palestine viper', rather than as the 'Land of Israel viper'.
Macy's Parade balloons come to Jerusalem
The Macy's Thanksgiving Parade is traveling from the streets of Manhattan to Jerusalem; 'Together—walking with world Jewry' will be a show of unity between Jews in Israel and Jews in the Diaspora.
Millions gather on the streets of Manhattan every November in the cold weather to see Macy's Thanksgiving Parade, and millions more watch it on TV. On December 3, the first night of Hanukkah, the parade is coming to Jerusalem for the first time as show of unity between Israel's Jews and Jews in the Diaspora.
The parade in Jerusalem is an initiative of the Diaspora Affairs Ministry and is meant to bring Jews in Israel and abroad together in the wake of recent grave anti-Semitic incidents around the world, culminating in the recent Pittsburgh Synagogue massacre that claimed the lives of 11 people. The ministry is looking into bringing a delegation from the Pittsburgh Jewish community to the parade in Jerusalem.
"Together—Walking with World Jewry" is the name chosen for the parade, which will feature street orchestras, youth movements, giant displays from Midburn Festival artists (the Israeli version of Burning Man), a convoy of classic cars, players from the Hapoel Jerusalem basketball team, and more. Musicical performances will include rappers Nechi Nech and Matisyahu.
Of course, the famous balloon displays from Macy's Thanksgiving Parade will be on show, including characters from comic books and children's movies, like Spider-Man, Kung Fu Panda, Anna and Elsa from "Frozen," Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck, Pokemons, and others.
The marchers will be accompanying the massive floats carrying the displays. The Sultan's Pool venue will host various events, including an exhibition about world Jewry, created in cooperation with Beit Hatfutsot-the Museum of the Jewish People.
The Jewish-American rapper Matisyahu, who will preform at Sultan's Pool, has a long relationship with Israel and with the city of Jerusalem. Several years ago, he had to contend with BDS activists trying to have his show in Spain cancelled. He ended up performing in front of a crowd carrying Palestinian flags, and sang "Im Eshkachech Yerushalayim" ("If I Forget Thee, Jerusalem"), a Jewish liturgical poem.
The parade is planned to be one of the biggest and most impressive events that the capital has known. It will go through several central Jerusalem streets and will end at the Sultan's Pool.
Reincarnation From Aish Ask the Rabbi
I was astonished by your explanation of suffering in little children as being due to their souls being "old" and having experienced past lives. I have always understood this notion as being a component of Buddhism and as being central to Hinduism. I have never heard of this in connection with Judaism. What is the scriptural basis for such a belief?
I am also puzzled by the reasoning. The child would presumably have no recollection of its past life. So how can it make the connection between its past misdeeds and present sufferings? And if all this is supposed to happen at some other undetectable, subliminal "soul" level, then why involve a body at all?
The Aish Rabbi Replies:
There are many Jewish sources dealing with what is popularly called "reincarnation." In Hebrew, it is called "gilgul ha'neshamot," literally the recycling or transmigration of souls.
This concept can be compared to a flame of one candle lighting another candle. While the essence of the second flame comes from the first one, the second flame is an independent entity. Still, the new flame contains imperfections inherited from the initial flame, and it is these imperfections that are to be corrected.
Most of the written material on this topic is very esoteric. Some of the prominent works dealing with this subject are the "Zohar" (1st century) and the Arizal's "Shaar HaGilgulim" (16th century). In the Bible itself, this idea is intimated in Deut. 25:5-10, 33:6 and Isaiah 22:14, 65:6.
Many sources say that a soul has a maximum of three chances in this world. One example given is that the great Talmudic sage Hillel was a reincarnation of the biblical figure Aaron.
The soul only comes into this world in the first place to make a spiritual repair. If that is not fulfilled by the end of one's lifetime, then the soul will be sent down again. The return trip may only be needed for a short time or in a limited way. This in part explains why people are born with handicaps or may live a brief life.
In order for the correction to take place, it is not necessary that there be a conscious awareness. Conscious awareness is only one level of understanding.
This idea is explored in an interesting book called "Psychic Phenomena," by Dorothy Bemar Bradley, M.D., and Robert A. Bradley M.D.: "Mentally retarded children have been known to burst out with unexpected abilities under altered awareness, manifesting the contents of the undamaged and theoretically undamageable unconscious mind."
In other words, there are levels of understanding that transcend the conscious level, even in children.
Re: your second question. Why does this have to involve the body in the first place?
Truly, some "corrections" do not have to take place through the body, but rather take place in the soul world, in the afterlife.
However, sometimes the correction must occur in the physical world. For example, it may involve a certain challenge of choosing the "right thing" over choosing the "comfortable thing." Or other people may have to be involved. And the soul cannot interact with the physical world in any other way expect through a body.
The bottom line is that a person's life situation provides everything necessary to achieve ideal growth. Our task is to employ our free will -- i.e. to properly and effectively use the opportunities that we have.
Meet the Press, billed as "America's first televised, spontaneous press conference" made its television debut 71 years ago today. Meet the Press was the creation of Jewish producer and moderator, Lawrence "Larry" Spivak. Today the news program is hosted by Jewish news anchor Chuck Todd, and is viewed by approximately 3 million people per week. Many Jewish personalities were interview on the show such as David Ben-Gurion and Benjamin Netanyahu. In a continuing series here are 5 notable Jewish Figures that have been on the show…